♣A mother once gave her daughter a bag of nails and told her that every time she lost her temper or insulted somebody she must hammer a nail into the back of their fence.
♣The first day the girl hit 14 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as she learned to control her anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled. She discovered it was easier to hold her temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally, the day came when the girl didn’t lose her temper at all. She told her mother about it and the mother suggested that the girl now pull out one nail for each day that she was able to hold her temper. The days passed. Finally, she told her mother that all the nails were gone. The mother took her daughter by the hand and led her to the fence. She said, “You have done well, my daughter, but look at all the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like these.” ♣ ♣ You can put a knife in a person and draw it out. It does not matter how many times you say I’m sorry; the WOUND is still there. A verbal wound is almost as bad as a physical one. “How can I repair the fence?” asked the girl. “Will it have to remain damaged forever?” “Yes and no” said the mother. “Our Rabbis say that if the fence is alive and responds to the way you have changed, it too can change and heal itself. If the fence is dead to the possibility of your repentance it will carry its scars onward. The fence will never be as it was before, but it doesn’t have to become like new to be a good fence. If you do your part and change, and the fence does its part in response, God will do something wonderful. God will promote a healing that will make you and the fence better. This process is called Atonement. It means that the changes that come about from repentance and forgiveness lead people to higher levels of relationship than was the case before.” “What happens if the fence doesn’t respond?” asked the girl. “Can I ever make it whole?” “You should try on three different occasions,” said the mother, “but if the fence remains dead even after you have changed, YOU can’t force it to become whole. In that case you should fix another fence somewhere else. There are always lots of fences that need fixing, and whenever you fix a fence God will make something wonderful happen. That is the miracle of Atonement. God always responds to our attempts to change by helping us change and always responds to our change by giving us new and wonderful opportunities for Atonement. This is why we have a Day of Atonement ten days after the beginning of every New Year; so the New Year will be a better one than the last one.” ♣ as retold by Rabbi Allen S. Maller ♣ ♣ Moral : Wars and Quarrels are mostly started by humans, who are sinful by nature, they do not think deeply about ramifications nor consequences of their verbal or physical outburst that is spilled or acted out in the moment of anger or jealousy. In Proverbs 19:19, King Solomon in his God given wisdom, exemplified that “A hot-tempered man MUST pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.” That hot-headed man must realize and admit and change his ways because nobody, not even God, can help him if he does not TRULY AND HONESTLY REPENT of his ways!
*The Sultan and Satan*
An ancient legend from the East tells of a great sultan who was a devout man of God. One morning he overslept. When the Devil saw that the hour of morning prayer was passing, he woke the sultan and urged him to get out of bed and pray.
“Who are you?” asked the startled sultan, still rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
“Oh, it’s not important,” replied the shady figure. “The important thing is that I woke you up in time, otherwise you would have missed your prayers for the first time in ten years-and it is very good to pray, isn’t it?”
“Yes, that is true!” replied the sultan smugly. “I wouldn’t dream of missing my prayer time. Not even once! … But wait a minute! I think I recognize you. Yes, I know your face. Of course! You are Satan, and no doubt you have some evil motive for your appearance!”
“I’m not really as bad as you think!” exclaimed the intruder. “After all, I was God’s right-hand angel once.”
“That is all very well,” replied the wise old sultan, “but you are also the Deceiver; that is your business! So I demand in the name of God to know why you want me to get up and pray!”
“Well,” replied the Devil, having grown huffy and impatient with the sultan’s persistence, “if you must know, I’ll tell you. If you had slept and forgotten your prayers, you would have felt very sorry for it afterward and would have been quite penitent. That would have humbled you and brought you close to God. But if you continue on as you have for the last ten years, without missing a single prayer, then you will become so satisfied with yourself that it will be worse for you than if you had missed one prayer and had asked God for forgiveness. God loves your fault mixed with repentance much more than your virtue seasoned with pride!”
Often it is actually good for us to make some mistakes because if we didn’t, we’d most likely become so proud of ourselves and so self-confident that we’d no longer feel we needed any help from God or others. But in reality, when we feel so proud and self-satisfied, it’s because we’re not closer to God, but more full of ourselves.
Many people in the world today are taught that pride is a virtue. But God recognizes pride and self-righteousness for what they really are-sins of the heart! The Bible says that “pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall,” and that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Proverbs 16:18; James 4:6).
Quite frequently God uses our mistakes to help keep our pride in check, to keep us humble and more dependent on His goodness and strength, rather than our own. The Lord blesses humility. He gives more grace to the humble, and promises to dwell “with him who has a contrite and humble spirit” (1 Peter 5:5; Isaiah 57:15).
It has been said that out of what seems like defeat come some of God’s greatest victories. “But what kind of victory is that?” you may ask. Well, God very often uses humbling experiences to make us better people-more compassionate and understanding of the errors of others, more loving and patient, when otherwise we might not have been so. The Lord wants to use our mistakes to teach us many important lessons that perhaps we wouldn’t be able to learn any other way. So isn’t it encouraging to realize that even our failures can be for our good?
Of course, in order for the Lord to bring this good to pass, we must be honest with ourselves, be willing to confess our mistakes, and attempt to rectify them. The hardest words to say in any language are, “I was wrong!” This takes humility of the kind that only God can give, because it’s human nature to want to appear perfect and faultless, and consequently be unable to confess our mistakes.
But if we want the truth and desire God’s blessing, then we’ll honestly and humbly admit our faults and failings. Then we can take comfort in knowing that we are wiser today than we were yesterday. Contrary to what some folks seem to think, an admission of error is a sign of strength rather than weakness.
Besides, God knows you’re anything but perfect. In fact, He knows you can’t be perfect and never will be. So the crux of the matter is not whether you are perfect or not, but whether you depend on the Lord and His grace, love and mercy. Do you give Him all the glory and credit for anything good that you do? Whenever you accomplish something good, you should say, “Just thank Jesus. Don’t thank me! If I have done anything good, it’s only because the Lord helped me do so.”
A good rule to follow is this: Give God all the glory for anything good you do, and yourself the blame for anything bad. That will help keep you from falling into that horrible trap of self-righteous pride, which is the basis of virtually all sin.
So whenever you make a mistake and are then tempted to get down and discouraged, just remember the sultan’s lesson: God loves your fault mixed with repentance more than your virtue seasoned with pride!
*GREAT TRAITS OF A HUMAN SOUL*
∞ ♣ ♣ ∞
THE ABILITY TO APOLOGIZE
Few can do this in a gracious manner. If you have spoken or acted
inadvisably or been disrespectful in any way,
it will help, rather than hinder, to humbly acknowledge it.
(Proverbs : 22 : 4
The reward for HUMILITY and fear of the Lord God is riches
and honor and life)
TO FORGIVE AND FORGET
It requires only an ounce of grace and a thimbleful of brains to hold a grudge.
But to entirely forget an injury, is truly beautiful.
(Proverbs : 17 : 9
He who forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter
alienates a friend or a loved one)
TO AVOID ARGUMENTS
A bigot or a fool can quickly pitch into an unprofitable debate.
But it takes a great soul to look ahead and studiously avoid
anything that might break fellowship.
This is greater than to win an argument.
He that ruleth his spirit is better than he who taketh a city.
(Proverbs : 17 : 27
He who restrains his words has knowledge,and he who has a cool,
gentle spirit is a man of understanding.)
TO AVOID MIXING UP IN A QUARREL
Children may fuss over a little toy, or a few green apples,
but parents ought to be too big to pull off in spirit
from good neighbors over such trifles.
Do those in your family/community have confidence in you?
(Proverbs : 17 : 14
The beginning of strife is like letting out water;
so quit before the quarrel breaks out)
GOING TO THE LAW
The devil and unprincipled lawyers will magnify a supposed injury.
But a wise and peaceful person will rather suffer wrong
than spend time and money defending personal rights.
(1 Corinthians : 6 : 7
To have lawsuits with one another is defeat for you)
(Proverbs : 16 : 7
When a man’s peaceful ways is pleasing to the Lord God,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him)
It is painful to see one who is always strained up.
How blessed to dwell so deeply in God as to have
no concern about how high, or how low others rate you.
Paul said, “With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged
by you, or of another man’s judgment.
He that judgeth me is the Lord God above.
(Proverbs : 21 : 2
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the Lord God weighs and judges every man’s heart)
How sad that anyone should imagine he is ahead,
when he gives just enough to ease his conscience
and yet less than his full share to a worthy cause.
In the end he and his children are the losers.
The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth
shall be watered also himself.
He that giveth with a cheerful heart will be multiplied
a thousand times over until his cup runneth over.
(Proverbs : 11 : 24
One man gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want)
A SAINTLY DIGNITY
One need not be highly intellectual or well dressed,
in order to show poise and sincerity that will
compel admiration and disarm prejudice.
Look at the meek and lowly, Jesus said before Pilate:
“God sees them, so thou should do likewise.”
(Proverbs : 14 : 31
He who oppresses a poor man insults his Maker,
but he who is kind to the needy honors Him)
TAKING SNUBS AND REPROOFS WELL
It is a false idea that those possessing true greatness
must be curt and resentful toward those who dare
to cross them; especially one’s inferior.
How lovely to behold one who can be gracious and gentle
when information or reproof is
given that was not needed.
(Proverbs : 15 : 4
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness
in it breaks the spirit)
How blessed to meet a big soul whose silence speaks louder than words.
We can go away enlarged and enriched.
But how different from the man who monopolizes
all the time in calling attention to self,
where he has been and what he did.
Let another man praise thee, and not thine own lips.
(Proverbs : 27 : 2
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips)
STOOPING TO HELP OTHERS
The Pharisee and priest can pass by on the other side,
but the magnanimous man will forget self
and stop to help others.
Years ago General Booth was walking down
a side street in London, when he was seen to
stop and help a poor man load some bags of coal.
An onlooker was impressed and inquired who this silk-hat man was.
Later he gave a large donation to the General,
saying, “Such work is worth supporting.”
(Proverbs : 21 : 3
To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable
to the Lord God above, than sacrifice.)
♥ ♥ ♥
TEN BIBLICAL RULES FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE
Never bring up mistakes of the past. Stop criticizing others or it will come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven.
Neglect the whole world rather than each other. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process?
Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled. And don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.
At least once a day, try to say something complimentary to your spouse. Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
Never meet without an affectionate welcome. Kiss me again and again, your love is sweeter than wine.
(Song of Solomon 1:2)
“For richer or poorer” – rejoice in every moment that God has given you together. A bowl of soup with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.
If you have a choice between making yourself or your mate look good, choose your mate. Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.
If they’re breathing, your mate will eventually offend you. Learn to forgive. I am warning you, if another believer sins, rebuke him; then if he repents, forgive him. Even if he wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, forgive him.
Don’t use faith, the Bible, or God as a hammer. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.
Let love be your guidepost. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
(1 Corinthians 13:4,5)